www.MadMenArt.com is a privately funded non-profit project that aims to help enhance culture and education. Visitors will gain an insight into the fascinating world of graphic advertising, which provides a unique impression of the spirit of the age. More than 30,000 vintage designs from over 50 countries and spanning a period from 1891 to 1970 are featured on the website. Every day, a particular part of the collection is showcased. Visitors can also explore the collection using their own search terms and share their favorite designs with friends.
Thank you for visiting our site.
- 1. The Aim of Mad Men Art
- 2. Share
- 3. Search
- 4. The Idea
- 5. The Mad Men Art Collection: 1891–1970
- 6. Quality
- 7. Copyright
- 8. Acknowledgements
- 9. Links
- 10. Disclaimer
- 11. Contact
„Mad Men Art“ is a privately funded non-profit project that aims to promote culture and education. Unlike other websites with similar content, we present our pictures in particularly effective way and offer an interface that is designed to be as user-friendly as possible.
We provide key share functions for each picture, so you can share your favorite motifs with your friends.
Find out what was on trend and what captured people’s attention in the year you were born (before 1971). As well as browsing through the listed categories, you can also find pictures in the search tool based on specific key words. Simply enter the term you are looking for (e.g. 1958, Coca-Cola, Marilyn Monroe, George Petty, Oldsmobile, Lucky Strike, Switzerland, etc.) to generate your own customized list of results.
Many years ago, while visiting an antiques store in Destin, Florida, one of our founders came across a collection of car advertisements from the The Saturday Evening Post and other magazines dating back to the 1940s and 1950s. He couldn’t resist buying 15 of these little works of art – this was the moment that sparked his passionate interest in graphic advertising, awakening his curiosity and laying the very first foundations for the “Mad Men Art” project.
We are fascinated by the creativity and impact of graphic advertising. We firmly believe that advertising can be a form of art, and we are keen to share our love of these vintage posters, ads and magazine covers with our visitors. We invite you to join us on a colorful journey through time, exploring all kinds of epochs, artistic movements, graphic styles and milestones in the history of mankind. A different part of the collection is showcased every day.
„Mad Men Art“ is not a scientific collection, with information about each item documented in as much detail as possible. Our main focus is on what catches the eye and stirs the emotions. We offer an opportunity to „awaken a love and understanding of good art, even in those who would not otherwise come into contact with it.” (Walter von Zur Westen, a German collector and publisher, December 31, 1871 – April 19, 1948).
In our view, the most interesting period in graphic advertising began in 1891, when artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec enriched the world of advertising with their creative masterpieces. Even back then, posters were treated and collected as works of art. Our collection covers a time span of 80 years, ending in 1970 when poster advertising declined significantly due to the widespread popularity of television.
During the course of our research, it has become clear to us that virtually nothing embodies the spirit of an age more vividly than advertising. Unlike the written word, graphic advertising conveys its message primarily through visual depictions of values and emotions. Each image gives us a clear impression of the needs that prevailed or were emerging at the time it was created, and what was considered desirable and modern. In this respect, the collection provides an exceptionally illustrative and surprisingly comprehensive account of 80 years of human development.
In choosing pieces for the collection, we have allowed ourselves to be guided by our individual taste – our subjective idea of what is beautiful, well-designed, technically sophisticated, potentially groundbreaking, and, ultimately, what could be considered art.
The collection takes you through all of the key artistic movements – Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, Expressionism, Constructivism, etc. – as well as distinctive styles such as Art Nouveau, Belle Epoque, Art Deco, International Typographic Style, Swiss Style, and many more.
“Mad Men” is a self-deprecating name for the creative people employed in the advertising industry, and our collection is dedicated to them and their work. It is interesting to see the paths pursued by these creative individuals over the years and the pitfalls they encountered in their efforts to convey advertising messages to consumers with even greater impact. One of the distinctive highlights is undoubtedly the tobacco advertising produced during the 1950s and 1960s.
The quality of the graphic works varies considerably. Some of them are now more than 130 years old, and even the most recent pieces date back over 40 years. Some of the originals are therefore showing distinct signs of age. To improve the quality of the images wherever it is possible and practical to do so, we have spent hundreds of hours digitally restoring around 20,000 of the works shown here.
„Mad Men Art“ is a privately funded non-profit project that aims to help enhance culture and education. Visitors will gain an insight into the fascinating world of vintage graphic advertising. The website is not used to generate any advertising revenue.
No images are offered for sale or sold on this website. No copies or reprints of the images shown are produced, offered for sale or sold.
Some of the images shown are protected by copyright. “Mad Men Art” publishes these images in accordance with the principle of fair use for the purpose of public education:
“Mad Men Art” does not claim ownership or copyright of any image contained here. All brand names, logos, designs, slogans and text visible on the images are the property of the respective authors or companies. The company or brand that each advertisement relates to, insofar as this is known, is named in the title of the image in question.
We also take copyright into account by displaying the images in a low resolution of only 550 pixels (height or width). This is intended to prevent third parties from using the images for professional or commercial purposes.
If you own the copyright to a particular image and do not want it to be shown as part of the “Mad Men Art” project, please inform us of this by sending an e-mail to Curator [at] MadMenArt.com. We will then remove the image concerned from the collection immediately.
Essential copyright information and acknowledgements:
- American Airlines, American Airlines Group, Fort Worth, USA: www.aa.com
- Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V., Leuven, Belgium: www.ab-inbev.com
- Buick, General Motors Company, Detroit, USA: www.buick.com
- Cadillac, General Motors Company, Detroit, USA: www.cadillac.com
- Camel, J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Winston-Salem, USA: www.RJRT.com
- Canadian Pacific Railway, Calgary, Canada: www.cpr.ca
- Chesterfield, Philip Morris International Inc., New York: www.pmi.com
- Chevrolet, General Motors Company, Detroit, USA: www.chevrolet.com
- Chrysler, Chrysler Group LLC, Auburn Hills, USA: www.chrysler.com
- Coca-Cola, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, USA: www.coca-cola.com
- Cosmopolitan Magazine Covers © Hearst Corporation, New York, USA: www.cosmopolitan.com
- Cunard Line, Southampton, Hampshire, UK and Santa Clarita, USA: www.cunard.com
- DeSoto, Chrysler Group LLC, Auburn Hills, USA: www.chryslergroupllc.com (defunct 1961)
- Dodge, Chrysler Group LLC, Auburn Hills, USA: www.dodge.com
- Ford, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, USA: www.ford.com
- Fortune Magazine Covers © Fortune Media Group, New York: www.fortune.com
- Good Housekeeping Magazine Covers © Hearst Corporation, New York, USA: www.goodhousekeeping.com
- Greyhound Lines, Dallas, USA: www.greyhound.com
- Jantzen Swimwear, Portland, USA: www.jantzen.com
- Ladies Home Journal Covers © Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, USA: www.lhj.com
- La Vie Parisienne Covers © Time La Vie Parisienne, Paris, France (defunct 1970)
- LIFE Magazine Covers © Time Inc., New York, USA: www.life.com
- Lincoln, The Lincoln Motor Company, Dearborn, USA: www.lincoln.com
- London Underground, London, UK: www.tfl.gov.uk
- Lucky Strike, British American Tobacco plc, London, UK: www.bat.com
- Marlboro, Philip Morris International Inc., New York: www.pmi.com
- Mercedes-Benz, Stuttgart, Germany: www.mercedes-benz.com
- Mercury, Dearborn, USA: www.mercuryvehicles.com (defunct 2011)
- New York Central Railroad, New York, USA (defunct 1970)
- Oldsmobile, Lansing, USA: www.oldsmobile.com (defunct 2004)
- Packard, Detroit, USA (defunct 1958)
- Pan American World Airways, New York and Miami, USA (defunct 1991)
- Pepsi-Cola, PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, USA: www.pepsi.com
- Playboy Magazine Covers © Playboy Enterprises, Beverly Hills, USA: www.playboy.com
- Plymouth, Auburn Hills, USA (defunct 2001)
- Pontiac, Detroit, USA: www.pontiac.com (defunct 2010)
- Santa Fe Railway, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, Chicago, USA (defunct 1996)
- Shell Oil Company, Huston, USA: www.shell.com
- Smirnoff Vodka, Diageo plc, London, UK: www.smirnoff.com
- Southern Pacific Transportation Company, San Francisco, USA (defunct 1996)
- Studebaker Corporation, South Bend, USA (defunct 1967)
- The New Yorker Magazine Covers © Condé Nast, New York www.newyorker.com
- The Saturday Evening Post Covers © Saturday Evening Post Society, Indianapolis, USA: www.saturdayeveningpost.com
- Time Magazine Covers © Time Inc., New York, USA: www.time.com
- Trans World Airlines, Fort Worth, USA (defunct 2001)
- United Airlines, Chicago, USA: www.united.com
- Vespa, Pontedera, Italy: www.vespa.com
- Vogue Magazine Covers © Condé Nast, New York, USA: www.vogue.com
- VW Volkswagen, Wolfsburg, Germany: www.volkswagen.com
- and many more
Our particular thanks go to:
Fox Computers – web design and development (Switzerland), for the technical implementation of our website and for providing excellent support: www.foxcomputers.ch
Below is a list of additional interesting, non-commercial links relating to vintage graphic advertising.
Gallery of Graphic Design
Advertisements, supplemented with very detailed information about their origins and publication date, etc.
Digital Poster Collection
Advertisements, with detailed categorization by product, manufacturer, brand, etc.
James Vaughan (x-ray delta one) on Flickr
A large selection of pop culture images and advertisements.
Old Car Advertisements
A website specializing in advertisements for cars.
Alden Jewell on Flickr
A large selection of vintage cars.
10.1 Information and Content
The information contained within this website is aimed at users of MadMenArt.com.
We compile our information according to our best knowledge and belief and endeavor to keep it up-to-date. In particular, we reserve the right to update and/or modify this data at any time and without prior notification or information, or to remove it wholly or partially from the website. Please note that we cannot assume liability for content which is incorrect or no longer up-to-date and thereby expressly exclude such liability.
In the case of misuse of the information contained on the website or of the information systems upon which it is based, legal action may be brought against the persons responsible.
Although we always endeavor to maintain reliable functioning and operability of the data codes obtained through our website, we take no responsibility for any potential damage caused in connection with them. In particular, please take into account that such data codes are also at risk of being modified (by viruses, for example, amongst other things), because of their transmission via a public network. We cannot offer any support nor can we assume liability for complications, system failures and other damages resulting from this.
The vendor assumes no liability for offers made via hyperlinks on its website. We also assume no responsibility or liability for website content which is opened in the foreground or the background via hyperlinks on our website.
10.3. Modifications to this Disclaimer
The vendor reserves the right to modify the Disclaimer at any time.
„Mad Men Art“ is a privately funded non-profit project that aims to help enhance culture and education. Visitors will gain an insight into the fascinating world of vintage graphic advertising.
You can contact us at the following e-mail address: Curator [at] MadMenArt.com
We welcome any feedback.
Mad Men Art
Marco Fritz, Curator